Octopus in Purgatory Recipe

Octopus in purgatoryI’m always looking for something new to serve guests. And this fascinating recipe from our friends at NoMa Social, a terrific Mediterranean restaurant in New York, features octopus. While you may think yuk, think again. Octopus, a slightly chewy sea creature is definitely undervalued. A 3-ounce serving contains less than 150 calories and more than 25 grams of fat. It’s naturally low in fat and contains several healthful ingredients like vitamin B-12. And cooked properly (don’t overcook or your octopus will become rubbery), it’s really delicious.

This recipe with the devilish name will have your guests talking—and in a good way. You can serve it as an appetizer or as a small plate like they do at NoMa Social.

Recipe courtesy NoMa Social.

1 5–6 pound octopus thawed

1 Spanish onion peeled and sliced

3 bay leaves


Octopus recipeFill a large pot with water, onions and bat leaves, bring to a boil, next place octopus on a large serving fork and dip the octopus into water and count to 3, remove octopus, dip octopus again and repeat 3 times, and then drop into boiling water again. This helps set the tentacles, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until fork tender about an hour to an hour and a half, remove octopus and chill discard water. Next slice octopus into 1/2 inch pieces, cut head in half and remove any stuff from inside and remove beak. Reserve until ready to cook

How to make the Purgatory Sauce

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

7 cloves of garlic sliced thin

1.5 tsp Chile flakes

1.5 tsp pimenton dulce (sweet pimento pepper)

1/2 bunch parsley washed and chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Warm garlic and olive oil and toast garlic over low heat until golden brown (careful not to burn it). Next add octopus to oil carefully as to not splash hot oil. Add parsley, Chile flakes, pimenton dulce and salt and pepper, cook to warm octopus and stir, stir, stir. Once hot, pour octopus onto a large platter with all the oil and get out a great loaf of bread, maybe some lemons and lots of wooden tooth picks…enjoy!!!

Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor

RFT co-founder Bobbie Hasselbring has been a travel junkie her entire life. An award-winning writer and editor for more than 25 years and author of the regional food-travel bestsellers, The Chocolate Lover’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest and The Chocolate Lover’s Guide Cookbook, Bobbie is editor-in-chief at